Thursday, February 19, 2015

Time for a change?

I launched Canadian Trends almost 3 full years ago which in itself was to address the adaptive nature of the topics I ended up discussing on my previous blog Hellberta. Plenty has happened in these 3 years and I've attempted to provide accurate forecasts of coming events as well I have tried to foster discussion not just on the inherent corruption of the system, of the Harper government, and the moves the system is making to preempt the public's dissent on coming events but also on the limits to growth which are at the root of the issues we all face. Everything happening in the world today from geopolitics to economics derives from the issue of limits to growth.

However, overall, looking back at the past 3 years I can't help but conclude I've failed in my goal. Instead of fostering conversation posts here tend to be uni-directional with very little commentary at all despite most posts getting fairly decent votes over at I'm still as uncertain as I was when I started this blog as to how many actual readers I have due to the lack of feedback. Either something needs to change, or I need to quit.

For the last few months I've been seriously mulling over packing up shop and quitting. As a person I am incredibly disorganized, I'm the type of person that starts a billion projects and never finishes any. I've actually been working on a 1 year plan to revamp the entire site, moving away from BlogSpot to a custom codebase and to introduce more community aspects as well as a weekly (or monthly) talk radio show. I can see the vision, and the potential, however my motivation to execute my plan comes and goes often with my motivation to even write about the sorry state of the Canadian political scene.

One of my biggest failings of Canadian Trends has been to not put my posts through proper editing procedure. Quite often the procedure I follow is: I read a news article which I strongly feel requires additional commentary. My head fills with thoughts on the matter, which reference related news stories I constantly research ( and then link on Twitter ) and I sit down and start typing. I follow no schedule, I write when I feel like it and this may mean a post everyday, or no post for weeks or even a month. Readers understandably really have no idea when to look for new content beyond randomly and ultimately I think this lack of consistently is inhibiting the ability for a conversation on limits to growth fostered by this blog to really take off.

Yesterday my internal debate on whether to change or quit came to a head as during a heated debate on Justin Trudeau and his support of C51 and where his allegiance really resides in response to a link I provided to "The Tru(deau)th of the matter" I was told "speaking of underwhelming, your writing".
Of course I'm under no illusion my writing is actually good, I'm well aware it isn't and back in 2012 it was even worse. I'm not a natural writer so if Canadian Trends has done anything for me personally it has been to practice putting the picture of the links and events I see in my head down on paper. Some days this works better than others and truth be told I'm unhappy with every single post I've ever written and after going back and reading them a few days later find them not nearly descriptive enough resulting in a jumble of thoughts and half-answers. Cheryl's take away from my post didn't even touch on the post's points, all she saw was "underwhelming writing". I replied that I point out how shitty my writing is quite often and that if she had any actual rebuttals to my points to let me know. She didn't respond with any.

I know since 2012 my writing quality has improved slightly, but I still think I lag the pack. This is a failure on my part and I think has negatively affected the appeal of this blog amongst other reasons. Ultimately I feel I either need to step up my game, or forget the whole endeavor, continuing as is is a waste of my time, and also doesn't do the information I'm trying to convey justice.

I know due to the nature of my blog many readers prefer to communicate directly with me over email as opposed to writing public comments. What I'm looking for now is feedback via comment, email, or if it suits you, you will find a poll on the top left of the web version of this blog. The question I'm asking: has Canadian Trends run it's course? Should I enact my one year plan to revamp this media platform or should I close the doors on it (and all of my other public political activity) and move on?

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.


  1. Anonymous19/2/15 16:38

    First of all, just ignore what that Cheryl person said - she seems like a die-hard Trudeau fan anyway.
    More to the point, I think blogs in general (independent blogs, not blogs that are part of other websites like on news outlets' websites) are in trouble, because of how people nowadays tend to have short attention spans. Twitter is a good indicator and representation of this.
    I have a friend who recently asked whether he should continue writing a blog, and I said, if nothing else, at least the blog gave him a space to write and collect his thoughts about issues.
    So, maybe take a break, throw stuff on here when you feel like it, and free up time and energy for other projects that you've always wanted to tackle.

    P.S. This commenting widget is hard to use.

    1. Yes it is, part of the reason I want to move to a custom codebase I have complete control over.

      Thanks for the feedback.

    2. Hi Richard. I am new to reading your blog. I haven't been reviewing progressive bloggers too long either. Now I visit daily. I wanted to get a sense of the subjects and quality of your writing, so I went to your archives and read more of your articles. For what it's worth you should definitely continue with your blog. I think you are to hard on yourself. You don't have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald in your writing. Your writing is fine. You are also very good at articulating the points you want to make. The important thing is this, you are revealing the authoritarian agenda of Harper's government and the threat it is to our democracy. I read a handful of bloggers daily. What I look for is the subject their addressing and their knowledge about this subject. You have that knowledge in your articles. The subjects you choose are also important to the present corrupt political landscape. If people are not commenting that much, it doesn't mean your articles are not good reading. I would not take cheryl's criticism seriously. Anyone who does not refute the arguments you make and does only below the belt personal attacks, is not worth even noting. I can sonetimes be long winded in my comments so I'll close. If you continue though you will be reading more of my comments.

  2. I'm with Pamela........just found your blog through MS.

  3. Hey Richard,

    I've been busy with a new job for a couple weeks and just read this, I always (eventually) read everything you post. I think that making such a childish and baseless remark in an intellectual debate reveals more about Cheryl's character and ability to reason than anything. I've always found your blog to be well-written and easy to read.

    Personally, I hope you decide to continue posting. You write with passion and from the heart, and I always look forward to seeing your perspective on current trends. It seems like you recognize a lot of the same patterns in society that I do. Lots of times I'll see something in the news and wonder if you'll comment on it, or how that fits into something else you've said. Your blog is the only one I actively make a point to read everything posted.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.